Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I cannot believe the spread of good news coming from the Sox in less than 24 hours. Just read this!
#1. Jeff Marquez sent to AAA Charlotte. YES! Even though Marquez had "won" a spot on the roster, Oz realized that he FUCKING SUCKS, and he's like a douchier version of Nick Massett. We get it - Kenny likes to take a chance on pitchers with "sink" in their pitches. Instead, we wind up with people who get decimated by the long ball and mysteriously get long relief jobs on our squad. Nice job realizing this was a bad fit before it got messy.
#2. Mike MacDougal on the roster. Brilliant! Well, OK, history tells us that MacDougal is a supreme choke artist. Then again, if he's preventing Marquez from being on this roster, I'm A-OK with it. Also, MacDougal wasn't ALWAYS the worst pitcher ever. On KC he was actually pretty damned good. If he can keep up his efforts from last season (and even this spring), MacDougal will be a great addition to our 'pen.
#3. Jerry Owens has been DFA'd. Not really something that was a mystery to anyone, but Wise locks up the leadoff spot and CF role while Anderson handles reserves duty...until Oz realizes that Wise has only speed and can't hit leadoff for shit. Expect a hot-hitting Getz to take that spot (or maybe even, GASP, BRIAN ANDERSON).
#4. Keggers entirely missed our fantasy baseball draft. Talk shit all you want, Keggers, but your autodraft team is in a whole lot of trouble. Frankly, if I'm able to pick Zambrano as my FIFTH STARTER (behind names like Santana, Billingsley, Felix Hernandez and Roy Oswalt), your number one really needs to impress more than Javier Vasquez. Seriously - you're fucked. I'll kill you for real.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Let's say that there's a talented Center Fielder who just lost his job to a younger up-and-coming. He's young (24), has already had success in the bigs (two very solid seasons in 06 and 07), and has shown that he has the capability to succeed in various roles on a team. Oh, and he's really looking for a chance to start - did I mention that?
Needless to say, Melky Cabrera is a lot of things that this club could use right now, and is, essentially, Brian Anderson with success at the Major League level. This doesn't mean I'm jumping off the Anderson-For-CF bandwagon (how could I?), but it does mean that I don't want to see this DeWayne Wise silliness go on any longer than it has to.
If Anderson can't get it done this year, we need to have a backup option in tow. Wise is the Timo Perez of the bunch - a guy to fill in and replace the real starter when he needs a rest. If Wise becomes the every day CF, we have a serious problem. Cabrera, on the other hand, could spell Anderson (if Anderson can figure out a way to carry over his success everywhere other than the regular season), or replace Anderson if the going gets rough.
Unlike Wise, who has put on a good face but ultimately just gotten hot a few times to stay on the roster, Cabrera is young enough to learn and put it together. He shouldn't be too hard to come by via trade (Wassermann?), and would likely provide the Sox with a reliable option in the future - especially if something happens to Quentin or Dye (an outfield with Anderson AND Wise is horrifying to say the least).
Thursday, March 26, 2009
And after yesterdays mostly expected roster moves, Gordon Beckham has been assigned to the minors. What, you're surprised? Any person who said Beckham would make the roster out of camp is an idiot - why would the Sox waste a year of contract on the kid, especially when the infield is filled? They're certainly not moving Alexei to center (much to my dismay).
Other interesting developments were the reassignment of Poreda and Wassermann (essentially ensuring Richard the long relief role), and a solid outing from Bartolo Colon likely locks up the rotation.
Colon is a bit of good news, as he allow two hits in four innings, threw most of his pitches for strikes, and was hitting higher numbers on the gun than he has all spring. Sure, his pitch count is still being carefully monitored (no more than 50), and he's likely going to be on a short leash throughout the season to keep him healthy, but it's great news.
Seriously - having Colon and Contreras both beginning the season ready to go? That's just batshit crazy - especially when you consider the severity of either surgery/rehab.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Both of these guys are named Jay Cutler. One of them takes steroids directly into his penis, slathers himself in tanning oil, gets ridiculous hair dye jobs, and wears a speedo on a regular basis.
The other one is a bodybuilder.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Since I don't have the spine to talk about the Sox getting shellacked by the Cubs in their ST game, let's talk about...other things.
- Gavin Floyd gets a new deal. I actually like this deal a lot. Floyd is young with good stuff, and we get him locked up for four years at a relatively solid price. If Floyd lives up to 2008's stat line, we make off like bandits. Apparently, Danks was offered the same deal and turned it down - hopefully we can lock him up for another three years at some point soon.
- Chris Stewart got dealt to the Yankees for "future considerations." The real ramification is not who/what we get, but more likely that Miller has sewn up the backup catcher job. It's just as well.
- Getz is pronounced 2B, and Marquez given a bullpen spot. Getz I agree with wholeheartedly, but Marquez has done nothing to merit a roster spot. Not only has Marquez not shown the patented "sink" his pitches are supposed to have, but his presence likely means that a bullpen spot is wasted on someone filled with suck (if this screws over Colon/Richard's spot on the team, I will be mightily pissed). It also looks like Anderson has sewn up the CF job - didn't take much.
- A little part of me wonders if the Sox are going to take a stab at Jim Edmonds or Kenny Lofton to shore up our CF spot...
- Corey Koskie chooses retirement over the Cubs. Well, not quite. The whole "sucking" thing makes it difficult to earn much of a spot. Having your brains scrambled one too many times will do that to you. The only real importance of this is that the Cubs still have no legit backup to Aramis Ramirez who can fill in when his usual back injury occurs.
- Rich Harden is still looking for some innings. Between the shoulder injury and the flu, Harden is way underworked for the Spring. If he's going to be ready for the season, he's going to need to get more reps in - or the Cubs will put torque on his arm like butter on bread. If you need a good start for the "getting worried o-meter", this is a good starting point.
And in other news, the Cubs still look f'ing ridiculous. Damn.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
In what is easily the least exciting position battle...ever...it looks like the Sox have their lineup penciled in. First off, the rotation:
No real surprises here. The only other real contenders for the 5th spot are Marquez (see: Nick Massett), and Poreda (going to the minors...for now). Should "Colon shitty" remain a headline, look for Richard to fill the 5th spot while Colon rehabs or switches to a relief role to build arm strength (SOMEthing).
Colon/Richard (Long Relief)
The only real surprises here are MacDougal (who has thrown the ball well since last year, and should be given the ML time not only for his lack of options, but for showcasing), and any Carrasco issues. I personally don't think Carrasco is the answer, but Poreda (why waste a good year on the contract?) and Broadway (unproven) aren't great answers either. Expect a lot of flip-flopping between Carrasco's spot and MacDougal's spot depending on who sucks first.
1. Ramirez (SS)
2. Pierzynski (C)
3. Quentin (LF)
4. Konerko (1B)
5. Thome (DH)
6. Dye (RF)
7. Fields (3B)
8. Getz (2B)
9. Wise/Anderson (CF)
Again, nothing too shocking. Getz has the job at 2B locked up (barring an injury or a huge resurgence from Lillibridge), and has shown he can hit ML pitching...in Spring Training. If he can keep up the bat action, he could see himself being shoehorned into a leadoff spot because lord knows Alexei doesn't belong there (and for a guy who doesn't walk, it makes even less sense. Even so, it's coming).
2-7 is pretty predictable. AJ resumes being shoehorned in as a #2 hitter (he did a pretty good job there last year, so no complaints), and 3-6 stays the same as always. Expect Dye to move up to the t#3 spot if/when Thome's back goes out.
I penciled Wise/Anderson in at 9. Anderson is a lock to make the team as a reserve outfielder (at minimum), but there's also a chance he could nab the starting CF job. Owens is as good as dead right now. Seeing as Wise and Anderson are hardly leadoff candidates, I stuffed them at the back end. Expect Getz to start in the 9 spot and gradually move up.
Depending on how Ozzie decides to arrange his roster, Owens may or may not make the cut as a pinch runner. Frankly, with Anderson and Wise making the team, it seems unlikely Owens comes along. The backup catcher position is still wide open, with Lucy and Stewart both showing signs of life with hitting (Lucy) and arm strength (Stewart). This one is more of an "Ozzie call," as the Sox may just sign someone for the hell of it. The infield gets rounded out by Nix (if healthy), but if he isn't ready to go, the position will go to Lillibridge.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
If you live in Chicago long enough, you learn that the only sports team in town to bag the big-name free agents (or make moves for big names) is the Cubs. The Sox haven't gotten a big name since Albert Belle, the Bulls haven't since Rodman (Jalen Rose does NOT count), and the Bears haven't offered a contract to any FA under 30 in my lifetime. As such, I am incredibly pessimistic about the Bears taking the slightest stab at Cutler.
Even so, the possibility would be great news. As Keggers pointed out yesterday, getting Cutler essentially equals us getting a free draft pick every year he's on the team (instead of wasting one on the Cade McNowns of the future), and opens the running game for Forte to go batshit crazy. So the real question is, REALISTICALLY, what would need to go down?
The Broncos are in need of a better defense, and any offensive weapons we can give to make Cutler's departure easier. Seeing as we don't have shit in the way of offense (Desmond Clark?), we're probably throwing in a high draft pick with the defensive player.
We have the following to work with:
Briggs: We love our linebackers, and Briggs is no exception. The Yin to Urlacher's Yang, he is what makes our defense tolerable on a regular basis. Seeing as the Broncos have Webster and nothing else, Briggs is a very attractive option.
Harris/Tillman: As much as Tillman is a pussy who gets hurt once a game in order to "bounce back," he can't keep up with the big boys. He gets burned by every WR1 in the league, and I won't miss him when he goes. Seeing as the Broncos have Champ Bailey and...um...Champ Bailey to deal with, Tillman would make their secondary almost respectable.
Corey Graham, Trumaine McBride, Nathan Vasher: These guys are "sort of the future." Frankly, I don't know what their role is on the team if Tillman or Harris go, but I would rather not trade "the youth" if it can be avoided. Also, these guys actualy have potential (instead of additional potential to suck), so they may actually have worth in a deal if packaged with a 1st or 2nd rounder.
Monday, March 16, 2009
As is my understanding, there's a bit of a clusterfuck in the White Sox outfield right now. Unlike the Cubs, who have too many people to play (Soriano, Fukudome, Bradley, Johnson...etc), the Sox have too many people who CAN'T play. Right now, the breakdown looks like this:
LF: Quentin (Locked Up)
RF: Dye (Locked Up)
CF: Wise, Owens, Anderson...etc
Unlike previous years where everyone on that list had "potential" and additional minor league options, this year presents a serious "Oh Shit We Need To Do Something." As far as I know, Anderson and Owens are out of options. The only person who looks even close to useful of the three is Wise, and we all know he's not really a CF option.
So here's my crazy solution: Move Alexei Ramirez to CF.
In terms of both offense and defense, CF gets a big upgrade. As much as I like Anderson, he's only half of the puzzle (fielding, but no offense). Likewise, Wise has speed and the brains, but he's the new Pablo Ozuna - not an every day option. With Ramirez in CF, both Wise and Anderson make the team (bye bye Owens) with Anderson being the defensive sub and Wise being a day-off replacement and pinch runner (think Timo Perez circa 2005).
As for the infield (which now has a gaping hole), you have a couple of options. Seeing as the Sox have a LOT of youth and infield depth (Viciedo, Beckham, Lillebridge, Nix, Getz...etc), let them duke it out for two positions instead of one. I fully expect Viciedo to go to the minors, and Beckham to get called up after May 1 (so we can save a year on the contract). Until then, Getz and Nix can handle SS and 2B (Getz was projected to take 2B anyways).
When all is said and done, you wind up with:
I penciled in Nix for leadoff because he seems to be meeting all the criteria in ST - whether that carries over into the regular season remains to be seen. Even so - Getz "gets" time to develop at the bottom of the order, Nix holds the spot for Beckham (Nix goes to a utility role when Bex shows up), and the rest of the pieces are the same as last year.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Dear loyal readers of the Dong,
You look to the Dong for cutting edge Chicago sports news and insights. But the Dong is so much more than that, not only do we cover Chicago better than anybody but we do a pretty nice job on the rest of the country.
That is why I, the TPC, is here to tell you about the new NCAA powerhouse in the making, im talking about a little team called the Binghamton University Bearcats. Now, it is no coincidence that they turned D-1 while yours truly was running the greatest sports show in the history of the school. What they have been able to do in the America East (toughest conference in the NCAA) in the last 5 years is truly remarkable. Taking down basketball institutions the likes of Vermont and New Hampshire has never been done up till now.
Tomorrow at 11am on ESPN 2, Binghamton stands at the cusp of school history for a chance to receive their first NCAA bid and a likely 16 seed in the tournament. Ive already put on my adult diaper and am not moving from the TV until the game is over.
For all that is holy let the Bearcats win, let me see my alma mater on the bracket and to all you haters, watch as they make history by becoming the first 16 seed to win the tournament. You heard it first on the Dong.
( Binghamton womens lacrosse, where they dont forget to cup the balls)
I mean, seriously. We couldn't do better than this?
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Ok, I admit it. This portion of the sports world is fucking boring. There's Spring Training, Luol Deng's pussy report, and a whole lot of nothing. It's driving me batshit crazy but FEAR NOT - I come to you with good news! Here's a quick list drinking game to get you to opening day.
RULES: Drink shots/beers/meerkat urine as indicated when any of the following occur:
Ozzie Guillen swears (or otherwise has expletives deleted) in an interview: Drink.
Blackhawks sell out a game: Drink.
Bears are rumored to go after new over-the-hill free agent wide reciever: Drink - twice.
Luol Deng sits. Drink sitting down and rubbing leg.
Any time Gordon Beckham is rumored to be a starting 2B candidate: Drink and then slap yourself on the face.
Zambrano pumps his fist: Drink a very tiny amount and then pump your fist and go "YEAH!" afterwards.
Rich Harden pitches through pain. Drink entire bottle - you're obviously already drunk.
Spring Training game is aired on CSN. Drink and watch (which may incite additional drinking).
Jeff Marquez is compared to Nick Massett: Drink, then piss into a cup and drink that, too. Both LOOK right, but only one is human excrement.
In a report about the Cubs, someone mentions this being "the year" the curse is excised. Drink Entire Bottle of Whiskey, kill self.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
In reality, Colon and Contreras DID pitch 20 BP pitches each to minor leaguers. That's gotta count for something, right? Well, it apparently does, as they have one more BP session before pitching one inning apiece for Saturday's game. If that doesn't strike you as batshit crazy that either of them will be ready before the season STARTS, then you're obviously lying.
In other news:
John Danks gets shelled. Nothing to be all that worried about, but Danks had serious trouble with the fastball, and coughed up 6 ER in 2 IP. He's still better than Todd Richie.
Chris Getz hit a three-run inside the park homerun. When was the last time you heard of ANY Sox player that did that? Granted, he had some help when Ben Francisco fell down on the warning track in right, but still - wheels are always nice to have.
Cubs pitching continues to dominate. Seriously, these guys are getting shit done. When you have Marshall and Gaudin fighting for the 5 spot, you're in pretty good shape. Also, Fontenot continues to rake. Fucker.
Cubs win their first game in over a week. Yay?
Kevin Jones is sticking around. 2-year deal for the Ex-Lion means that the Bears aren't going to be looking at the free-agent scrap heap for a complement to Forte (sorry to all the fans who were hoping we would win the Derrick Ward sweepstakes). In other news, Bears are rumored to be making a run at Torry Holt - didn't we learn our lesson with the broken down wideouts (see: Marty Booker). I love Holt, don't get me wrong, but his knee just hasn't been the same in years.
Deng is hurt...really. Looking at about two weeks on the sideline for the Denginator. Seriously, why did we name ourselves after this colossal fuckup? Sheesh.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Terrell Owens is a free agent. Whoop-de-do. All I've been hearing today is "I hope the Bears get him" and "How good would the Bears be with TO?"
The Bears AREN'T going to get TO, and here's a few good reasons why:
#1. TO's hands are turning to brick. Sure, he's still got great skills, but he would need to be that "first down guy" for the Bears. He drops more passes every season, and he's not getting any better. Seeing as the Bears rarely get the chance to complete a 3rd down because of our highly-predictable offense, having a guy around who may drop the occasionally good Orton pass could be catastrophic.
#2. Orton can't get him the ball. Aside from the fact that TO demands at least 10 pass attempts in his direction per game, Orton just can't get him the ball. The Bears offense is built around the run, and when we DO pass, they're short <20 yard passes. We don't do the deep ball because Orton can't throw it accurately. These things would not make TO a happy camper.
#3. Devin Hester is the deep ball. TO can do all the front lawn sit-ups he wants, but Devin Hester is still the faster player - especially as TO gets older. Seeing as the deep ball would be going towards Hester, that leaves TO with the possession role - not something I'm confident in.
#4. He's still a dick. Let's face it - you don't cut TO because he can't play. You cut him because he's a dick. He is the Manny Ramirez of football. He wants a trade every season, rips on his teammates, and generally causes a media stir wherever he goes. Seeing as the Bears like to stay low-key, I can't see this as a good fit.
#5. Moneymoneymoneymoneymoney. TO wants money, and a fat guaranteed contract to try and opt out of. We don't have that kind of money, nor would we spend it on TO if we did. Let's face it - the Bears have never given out big contracts, and if we did, we probably wouldn't have let Berrian go to the Vikings.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Colon battered by Yankees
Overworked Colon triumphs
Bradley beats Colon
Colon experiencing tightness
Trouble ahead for Colon
Colon recovering nicely
Colon looms large
Extra effort pays off for Colon
Colon brings the heat
"I"m having trouble locating," says Colon
Colon comes through in a pinch
Postseason push for Colon
Colon suffering from soreness
Colon rebounds nicely
Colon feels shitty
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Hello and welcome to the first installment of The Gourmet Dong, where we'll be taking a look at some of the best places in Chicago to get some delicious, greasy-ass red meat. And by "we" I mean me, since our other contributors can't take part in this excercise for personal reasons.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
The last hope for the Vikings to have trouble this year is Matt Birk. If Birk re-signs with the Vikes, they have enough of a line for AP to do what he does best (dominate), and enough time for Rosenfels to give them a relevant passing game. Between Berrian's speed, Shiancoe's size (both below the belt and overall), and Rice's fucked up knees, he'll have more than enough options.
The Vikings defense is absolute murder against the run, and while their secondary isn't close in terms of skill, they still present a respectable force. Their Special Teams is also pretty good (as evidenced last year), AND they managed to re-sign almost all of their free agents (not Birk...yet).
This has gone on long enough - we need to put a stop to this.
If no one here is going to help, I propose Operation Antichrist. It's ingenious, really - simply let Peterson have the ball. Going from his extensive injury history, it's only a matter of carries before he hurts himself. Once he's down, Chester Taylor will be on a limited workload (guy can't quite handle 25 carries a game more than one game a month) and it will be time to strike. Just watch for the pass and blitz mercilessly as Rosenfels struggles to get the ball off.
#1. Bartolo's Colon and Jose Contreras (combined age of 236) seem to be functioning at normal capacity - this is a good thing. Are we going to see both of them pitch 200+ innings? I don't think so, but a COMBINED 200+ innings isn't an impossibility...
#2. Likewise, Cabrera seems to be going to Oakland. 2nd round pick and sandwich pick, here we come!
#3. Housh on the Seahawks? Seriously? Man, the Eagles are going to be pissed...
#4. Micah Hoffpauir is a goddamned machine. If Spring Training meant anything in the regular season, this guy would be leading every ballot. Instead, he's totally going to be on utility duty this season. Sorry, buddy.
#5. Jay Cutler is not coming to the Bears. Where the hell did that possibility even come from? This story is so ridiculous that I'm not even going to explain WHY it's not going to happen - just trust me on this one. Now, Jake Plummer...
#6. Deng has no stress fracture. Please, continue sucking and playing at half strength. I almost WANT you to miss the time so that Salmons will get more minutes.
#7. Johnny Red Kerr and Stormin Normin - still dead.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Shortly before losing his hand, Pulaski put Poland on the map and topped the "double-edged" sword by inventing the "4-way" sword.
AUGH! MY BALLS! AUUGGGHH!!!
What the fuck is "Crawford Ave.?"
The inventor of the shit-painted mustache
Forsooth! I desire one of thy Polish Sausages!
For some of you, Spring Training is a sign that baseball is just around the corner, and that Spring (the season) is in the air. For me, it's a sign that Spring is still a good two months away (fucking Chicago weather), and an indicator of every possible thing that could go wrong. Seriously, if I were a Cubs fan, I would be panicking about how the Cubs were going to cope with Bradley and Harden missing significant time.
Instead, I find myself poring over Dayan Viciedo's numbers and tearing my hair out. How could I be so worried when the kid is hitting? See, Viciedo has a couple of interesting traits that some Sox fans may find all too familiar...and all too scary.
First of all, Viciedo is Cuban. This is not so much troubling because every other person over 100 lbs looks like Dr. Foreman on House, but because we don't know how old Viciedo really IS. The Sox paid a lot of money because he's "young", but the guy is making boatloads more than currently-on-the-roster Alexei Ramirez because of his youth potential. If Viciedo turns out to be, say, 24 (and I wouldn't be all that surprised), that turns into a lot of money down the shitter. Kinda like Juan Uribe, who was supposed to only get better with age, but actually just sorta crapped out after his first season out of Colorado.
Second, Viciedo is overweight. He has been overweight, he is overweight, and he will be overweight. Weight doesn't scare me because of injury - it scares me because of the big swing that comes with it. Giant "screw contact I'm going to swing like Grimce chasing a bumblebee" swings are the sort of thing that kills rallies and results in ugly strikeouts. Likewise, the extra weight kills the speed that was once standout when younger, but now looks like poor baserunning...kinda like Juan Uribe.
Even more interesting is that Viciedo is coming from an advantageous situation where he dominated (AAAA Cuban basebal like Uribe came from Colorado's launchpad) has a cannon arm (like Uribe), does jazz hands after a HR (like Uribe), fields unconventionally (Uribe), got overpaid for proving little (Uribe), will be pushed into a utility role (Uribe), and doesn't have a spot on the team this year (Ur- you get the point). Frankly, that's a whole lot of carry over and coincidence...just enough to get me worried.
I'm not saying that Viciedo will turn into a horribly disappointing fat tub of shit that infests our infield...but I'm not ruling out the possibility either. Keep your fingers crossed.
Bulls beat the Rockets, Rose finally hits a big shot at the end (he's missed a lot of those, despite having big 4th quarters) and our namesake Mr. Deng might be out for the season with a broken leg.